This is a note to Martin "Pure Joy" and I hope it is in the right place. You mentioned that you live in Hounslow and therefore the Coronation Stone in Kingston is you nearest ancient relic. As a boy I grew up in Hounslow and distinctly remember there being a Sarsen Stone in Lampton Park on Lampton Road. I cannot say whether it ( the park or the stone) is still there. Neither can I testify as to the true origins of the stone however the priginal "Plaque" simply called it a Sarsen Stone (whatever that means). Given your travels I hope you find someting to be of interest under you nose. Kind regards, James
it's not a standy stone or a menhir, most likely it's part of a chapel that was attached to the Parish church just off the Market Place. Parts of the chapel which dates back to the Anglo-Saxon era and collapsed in the 18th Century can still be seen on the Market Place side of the church
The stones antiquity was only "realised" in the 1850's and the railings which surround it date from that time
Whilst the stone has no provenance as a coronation stone for seven kings it is in my view likely that the centre of Kingston may have been the focus for religious/ceremonial activity going back to Anglo-Saxon times as the area on which the church is centred is in the middle of what was a gravel island in the Thames.
The river channel has long since silted up but is clearly shown on the archaeological records for various developments in the vicinity
I like Kingston more and more and everytime I go I find more historic places. None as old at the Coronation Stone (lthough the nearby bridge dates from 1180 and is said to be the oldest bridge in Surrey), but still interesting, and a welcome relief from the shoppers. The coronation stone isn't necessarily of any significance pre-900 AD, but it's not beyond the realms of possibility that it was a local landmark or important stone before it was used to crown saxon kings (it would nice to think that kings wouldn't be crowned on any old thing). I deliberatly haven't used the phrase 'Kings of England' because although this era is hardly part of my historical expertise I'm not sure any kings could honestly be said to control 'England' as a whole at this time and I'm sure there is a plaque on Bath Abbey (I lived in Bath for 20 years) saying something about King Edgar being crowned the first 'King of England' there in the 10th Century; which may well be a controversial statement in itself anyway? The stone is greywether sandstone / sarsen....so I wonder if that has any significance?
PS - Historical note - the wonder of the internet tells me that Edgar became King of Mercia and Northumbria from 957 and King of Wessex from October 959 making him ruler of the three most important areas of Britain. Edgar was formally crowned in 973 in Bath Abbey.
Ditto to Juamei - I live in Hounslow, so this is the closest ancient-ish monument to me. Visited it briefly before a work meeting in the Guildhall and went back again yesterday. Local books in the area (you know the type, things like...'Kingston in days goneby' or 'Remebering Kingston') often have good pics of it in various places - it has been moved many times.
NB - The plaque says it was 7 Saxon kings up to Ethelred the Unready (didn't go as far as Edmund Ironside / next millennia)
[visited 4/2/03] This being the closest 'standing stone' to my house, I thought I'd better go give it a look. It sits on top of a modern (well 19th century I think) stone plinth, surrounded by attractive blue railings. Very easy to find, sitting in the grounds of Kingston Guildhall, ignored by all who walk past. The stone itself is fairly large (compared to The London Stone) and could well have been part of a circle or more likely have been a markstone.
I presume it originally had a similar function to the now disapeared stone at the top of Brixton Hill, which was the meeting place of the local Hundred.
Quite a nice little visit if you are in the area though as per with London sites, not really worth travelling for. (I can imagine the cries from peeved family members, "You came all that way to see this???")
You can see this stone outside the Guildhall near Kingston market. It was used as the coronation stone from Edward the Elder in 900AD to Edmund Ironside in 1016 - they were crowned sat on it.
But surely they didn't just pick some random stone from the ground in 900AD? surely it had some 'provenance'? Perhaps someone knows some more about this - or perhaps it's impossible to know now.